How to Root Blackberry Cuttings

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 0 comments

Blackberry plants are perennial, with fruit that grows on 1-year old branches. These branches, or canes, will die after fruiting. Therefore, a taking care of a blackberry bush is labor intensive, and requires careful pruning every season. You will get the highest yield from the blackberry plant if it is planted in full sun and, because the roots are sensitive to excessive moisture, a well-drained soil. The fastest way to root blackberry bushes is by taking root cuttings. This should be done in January or February, when the plant is dormant.


1. Remove the soil from around the roots of the blackberry bush. Dig into the soil as close as possible to the mother plant and expose the roots outward.

2. Look for roots that are as thick as a pencil and from 2 to 6 inches in length.

3. Cut the roots straight across at the top, near the base of the shrub. Cut the other end of the roots diagonally, so that you will later be able to determine the top from the bottom of the roots.

4. Gather the cut roots and tie them together with a piece of string. Make sure all the diagonally cut ends are pointing the same way.

5. Moisten enough sand to completely envelop the roots and place it in a plastic bag. The sand should be just barely moist, not wet. Gently push the roots into the sand and cover them. Place the bagged roots in an area where the temperature will remain 40 degrees F for three weeks.

6. Prepare the planting area by digging into the soil with a gardening fork to a depth of 8 inches. Turn the soil and crush any clods that are larger than your fist. Add a 3-inch layer of compost and mix it in well with the existing soil.

7. Remove the bagged roots from storage. Dig holes in the prepared planting bed so that when planted, the straight cut end of the cuttings will be 2 inches below the surface. The holes should be two to three inches apart.

8. Place the roots in the holes, diagonally cut end down. Cover them with soil and water the area so that the soil is moist, but not soggy.

9. Mark the planting area so you will remember where the roots are planted. Check the soil periodically. It should be allowed to dry out to within the top 2 inches prior to watering.

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